The White Lake Township Board of Trustees decided once again to extend the medical marijuana moratorium in the township at its Tuesday, June 21 meeting.
This marks the third time the moratorium has been extended since the passage of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in 2008.
According to township Planning Director Sean O’Neil, one of the main concerns is that marijuana — whether its use is medicinal or recreational — still remains illegal under federal law.
“We need to study the issue some more,” O’Neil said. “We’re looking at ordinances, case law, and legislative activities on the matter trying to make the determination of what course of action to take for White Lake Township as pertains to medical marijuana-related land uses.”
The original moratorium was set to expire on Oct. 6, 2010. At that time, the township board decided to extend the moratorium another 90 days to give officials time to study how other communities have been addressing the issue. Then in January, the board opted to extend the moratorium another six months until July 6.
Board members now believe they need an additional six months to plan and evaluate a course of action, as well as to see what, if any, changes the state Legislature will make to the law.
In November 2008, Michigan became the 13th state in the nation to legalize marijuana for medical use, thanks to overwhelming support by state voters. The law enacted subsequent to voters’ authorization requires patients to carry identification cards issued by the state, and caregivers to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility. A caregiver can help up to five other patients and may grow 12 marijuana plants per patient.